VIENNA, Va. -- The Federal Trade Commission awarded a $3.5 million contract for the development and implementation of a national registry containing phone numbers of consumers who do not wish to be contacted by telemarketers.

Beginning this summer, it will be possible for consumers to enter their phone numbers into the registry either by phone or via a Web site. Telemarketers will be required to download the database of 'do not call' numbers every quarter and discontinue telemarketing to the numbers.

The initial award, which runs through September 2003, was awarded to AT&T Government Solutions. The contract allows the FTC to extend the award for up to nine additional years.

Timothy J. Muris, chairman of the Federal Trade Commission said, "I am delighted that we can now start building the 'Do Not Call' registry, which will enable us to respond to consumers' pleas to end unwanted intrusions into their homes."

AT&T Government Solutions